Wounds matter in life and in fiction. We’ve all been hurt in some way and to some degree. Just goes with being human.
Admitting weakness, failure, mistakes, and flaws isn’t always easy. In fact, it can be downright terrifying for even the ‘strongest’ of us. It’s an especially daunting task in a world that idolizes something none of us will ever be…perfect.
Wounds are part of the human experience. When we understand the nature of wounds, our fiction becomes all the richer just by adding in these layers.
All genres and all stories require wounds. No wound and no story. Even The Little Engine That Could had self-esteem issues and a confidence problem 😉 .
Wounds provide friction vital for conflict, No conflict, no story. Conflict turns pages, sells books, and cultivates fans.
The entire point of stories is a flawed character overcoming some internal issue (damage) in order to triumph over an external problem. It’s why readers read fiction.
Undamaged characters aren’t simply boring, but the audience won’t be able to relate with them. How can we empathize with someone who lacks a past? Who’s never made a mistake, has no regrets, or has lived a charmed and problem-free life?
Short answer? We can’t.